resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
January, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 01
Heating Up Your Practice Safely, Part 2
By Dixie Wall, Contributing Editor
In December's issue1 we discussed heat therapies and their positive effects in the treatment room. We covered treatment procedures such as skin typing, which will help us give an effective heat therapy treatment while minimizing the risks of burns. We mentioned the use of an informed consent document during the preliminary consultation and reviewed the most common mistakes that can lead to accidental burns. This month, we will discuss the gathering and assessment of subjective and objective information to formulate the best treatment plan for our clients.
First we will begin by reviewing the physiological effects of heat on the body. These involve the endocrine, circulatory and nervous systems. The body's temperature is regulated by the hypothalamus (endocrine system), which strives to keep the body in balance. Common therapeutic responses of the circulatory system include increased circulation and blood flow to the muscles by the vasodilatation of the peripheral nervous system. Sometimes the client will feel slightly sedated from heat by the release of neurotransmitters that tend to make us feel good and cause a decrease in pain and joint stiffness.
Nevertheless, there are certain conditions, diseases and body types that may cause abnormal reactions to heat therapy and/or compromise a client's perception of heat. There are several types of heat therapies used by massage therapists, the most popular include: hot stones, immersion baths, electric heating pads, moist heat packs (hydrocollater packs) and infra-red saunas. In order to use these tools safely, we must remain flexible to our client's individual needs by incorporating our intuition and professional knowledge. It may be best to check first with a client's primary care physician when working with sick patients. A certain client's condition or symptoms may be exacerbated by heat therapies. Considering the aforementioned therapies, what are the subjective and objective factors to consider when treating with heat therapies?
The first precautionary measure we can take is by simply asking our clients for a basic medical history. These findings are subjective unless we actually talk to, or receive a note from, a client's primary care physician confirming diagnosis given by the client. Most therapists gather subjective information by an initial interview where the client fills out a complete medical history on their first visit. This document should include, but is not limited to: medical background including medications and supplements, and an informed consent. Some therapists include an extra form specifically for hot stones, or other types of modalities to be filled out by the clients before treatment. Here are some of most common contraindicated and cautioned diseases and conditions to be aware of with use of heat therapies:
Contraindicated diseases and conditions:
Acute conditions and special needs clients:
Subjective information is essential, however, objective observations are equally important and effective when creating a treatment plan for clients. By careful observation, we can use our intuition to determine the particular need of each client. For example, noticing that a client is generally in a hurry, feels "hot," tends to sweat easily or is easily irritated may raise a red flag for heat therapies. This client's symptoms point to a general heat pattern in the body and may be exacerbated by adding more heat.
Many types of alternative medical practitioners use subjective and objective information in order to reach a diagnosis and treatment plan for their patients. Legally we cannot diagnosis, but a therapist can still gather information to formulate the best treatment plan for each individual client.
In traditional Chinese medical theory, a practitioner may avoid heat therapies such as moxabustion and fire cupping on certain types of patterns of disharmony or disease. A diagnosis or pattern of disease may indicate whether or not the patient has a too much or not enough heat. Generally, Eastern doctors will not use heat therapies on heat patterns (excess yang or deficient yin/ hot body types) but will use them on patients who have cold patterns (excess yin or deficiency of yang/cold body types) in their diagnosis to warm up the body. The practitioner's intention is to promote the balance of hot (yang) and cold (yin) within the body.
From a similar perspective, Ayuervedic medicine also tries to achieve balance through body typing and diagnosis, and tends not to use heat therapies on people with a high pitta conditions (since pitta represents the fire-water element in the Ayurvedic tradition).
If still not sure on whether or not to use heat, a therapist can palpitate the client's pulse. From a traditional Chinese medicine perspective, pulses over 80 beats per minute (BPM) indicate a mild heat condition and a pulse over 90 BPM indicates a severe heat condition. However, pulse rates can be affected by many factors that should always be considered.
Ultimately, we must always make the client's well-being our top priority by creating balance through the use of our modalities. We must remain flexible based on our clients' needs. Coupling both our intuition and education, we can provide safe and effective treatments for our clients. As always, I welcome and appreciate any comments or concerns at .
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